Sensing some low back pain that travels down your leg? Could it be sciatica or something else? Back pain or even the fear of back pain is debilitating and can stop someone from being active or even perform the daily functional activities. If the pain you’re feeling starts from your low back and radiates down your leg, chances are you could be dealing with sciatica. But the only way to figure that out is through a professional diagnosis from your medical doctor. If it’s confirmed that it’s sciatica, keep reading, because this post is for you! [...]
Have you ever skipped out on fun outings or activities like hiking because you feel like you weren’t able to keep up? Or maybe the day after a hike, you feel like you’ve completely worn your knees out? How about when going up the steps, you feel a “catch” and/or hear crackling when you either bend or straighten your knee? If so, welcome to the club [...]
Imagine getting ready for a 10K… new shoes, weeks of training, an air-tight exercise routine, high-quality snacks… you’ve got it all planned out. The big day finally arrives and you hop in the car to get into the fray. Excitement builds and you’ve got your eye on the prize. In your excitement, though, you forget the golden rule – the one thing you’ve been doing day in and day out for the past half year… you forget to warm up. 10 minutes of solid running and something in your leg gives way, you’re knee seems to cramp, your back compensates, and then the unthinkable happens: you’re sitting on the pavement, hand in the small of your back, looking at the dust left behind by those still in the race.
Pain can make us do things we never thought we’d do. It may drive us to take painkillers every few hours, turn to ice/cold packs in frustration, or kick us into high gear in the gym or our yoga classes. It may even lead some of us to turn to injections. The bottom line is that pain has a way of turning the world upside down; it can push people into the arms of the strangest ‘cures’ just so that they may be rid of the discomfort and daily agony. But, how often do those solutions and cures really work? If you’re dealing with terrible, debilitating pain, how well is that downward facing dog really coping with treating the issue? My bet is… not very well.
Sometimes it feels as though we’re living through a movie, not reality. For many of us, our daily routines have been trimmed down from trips to the office, shopping, hiking, time with friends, gym, going out for drinks, and date nights, to getting up from the bed and moving to the sofa… only to move back to bed when the sun sets. We’ve been flung out of our ‘normal’ into an unknown, sedentary world. And, of course, it’s not just your gin and tonic craving that’s not getting fulfilled – it’s your PT program, too. In the course of a few weeks, many of you reading this may have effectively stopped your physical activities and given up on doing your regular physical therapy routine. So, it’s time we wrote you a blog.
The good old days… , strolling down your driveway to wave at a neighbor and perhaps share in some gossip, meeting your friends at the local sushi restaurant for a bite to eat… we miss that, don’t we? Self-isolation and quarantine can be really tough on our minds, hearts, and bodies. We tend to see things differently and we may even start to become down-hearted, feel less energetic, and, in general, we may start forgetting what it means to stay healthy in mind, body, and soul. In fact, some of you reading this might be avoiding the scales like a plague because tucking into a bag of chips has now replaced your regular walk! Don’t worry – this is much more common than you think. So, we’re writing to share some thoughts on how to stay healthy and active during these unprecedented times, not only for your mental wellbeing, but for your muscles, heart, immune system, and general physical health, too.
Remember how you used to be terrified of needles as a child? How thinking about the glinting needles probably helped you forget you were sick at all? Yes, we all know that feeling and remember it well. So, what changed? As we grew up, became braver, and started listening to our bodies a little less, our distrust of needles seems to have dwindled. Now, we run to the doctor for all manner of injections, and while vitamin B shots and flu jabs are at the lower risk end of the spectrum, many injections pose a very large, very scary risk to our health and wellbeing. Why, then, do we do subject ourselves to the needle-point? For many of us the answer is simple: we live with pain and just cannot do it anymore. Injections, on the advice of our doctors, promise a pain-free life with little to no wait. Injections don’t need marketing – they market themselves; if we’re in pain, we’ll do anything. The truth is, though, none of the side effects get discussed much, and all too often the advantages of shots are blown out of proportion. The truth is, not only do injections fail to produce any sort of permanent pain-free lifestyle, they go hand-in-hand with a whole bunch of negative aftereffects, some short term and others, sadly, long-term. If you’re reading this and thinking injections may be your only option, don’t fear – we’re here to spill the beans on shots, their consequences, and what other safe, long-term solutions you have at your disposal instead!
If your desk area consists of a sofa cushion, and low coffee table, then we’re taking a stab in the dark and guessing you’ve converted your living room into an office. And while that’s all fun and games, working from home can actually be quite stressful on your muscles and joints – despite the extended periods sitting down! In this post, we discuss the ways in which you can stay healthy and active while working from home. So, let’s adjust the couch seat, make a fresh brew, and get stuck in!
Stress. Six little letters is all it takes to make a word so full of meaning that few of us really know how to get to the bottom of it. Stress: is it that feeling you get when a deadline is looming, or is it what we feel when the chicken roast burns, the movie didn’t record, or we forgot to pick our mother-in-law up from the airport? Possibly, but could it be that it’s more than that? What if you haven’t been able to pay your mortgage for a few months, if a family member has been diagnosed with an illness, or if you simply can’t keep up with the pace at work? What if you don’t know how to cope anymore? Stress is all this and, perhaps, a whole lot more. In this blog, we’re talking about all things stress-related: what it is, what it can be, how it ultimately affects not only your mental health, but your physical health as well, and, finally, what you can do about it. Keep reading, because even if you think you don’t have stress, that ache in your lower back might very well be saying something completely different.
Have you ever wondered why your neck always hurts? What about why there is that nagging discomfort in your upper and lower back? How about the nagging pain in your shoulders, hips, or even feet? Well, all of those aches and pains could be down to one very important aspect of your life: your posture. Yes, that’s right. For those of you who have never considered your posture important, or who haven’t really given the way you sit, stand, or walk much thought, we’re giving you some advice: it’s time to take notice. Your posture affects almost everything about your body, from muscle health through to bone structure and overall mobility. It’s no wonder, then, that today’s blog is all about posture. So, get ready, sit up straight, and start diving into why your posture matters.
Most of us like to think we know ourselves fairly well – we know we’re happy when the sun is shining, when we drink a good cup of coffee, or when we spend time with our loved ones. On the other hand, we also know when we’re sad: we may have lost our favorite sneakers, hit a pothole, or experienced emotional trauma. All of that seems, in many ways, quite clear to us. But when it comes to physical injuries things can get a bit confusing. How do we know of we have neck pain, shoulder, or back pain? How do we know if our knees, hips, or lower backs are giving us problems? How can we differentiate between different types of pain? It often seems as if it’s harder to self-diagnose physical pain than it is to pinpoint heartache or joy. And yet, knowing why you’re in pain is actually the most invaluable knowledge there is for treating the root cause of the problem and, therefore, eradicating the pain itself. In this post, then, we’re talking about how injuries can be confusing, how we can tell if we’re really injured – and where we’re injured – and how we can clear it all up once and for all! Let’s jump straight in.
Winter is here! Most of us have stocked up on firewood, cocoa, marshmallows, and blankets as we lay in wait for all the cold weather. We’ve even turned up the heating and removed grandma’s special knitted socks from storage. And yet, winter doesn’t just mean hot drinks and snuggles, does it? It also means fun! Many of us have also reached for our ice-skates, ski’s, or snowboards as the great freeze approaches. Hooray! And because of this, we thought this would be a perfect to time to talk about a really important topic: balance. Yes, that’s right, you can’t ice-skate, ski, or even toboggan without balance, but more than that, walking correctly, stabilizing your body, or keeping your skeletal and muscular health in check without having the correct balance can be… uh hum… a bit of a tightrope act. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post we talk all things balance, from why you need it, to what happens when you don’t have it, all the way through to how you can improve it. So, let’s get some stability on the subject, shall we?
For Many Americans, getting in better shape is the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a New Year’s Resolution. With the beginning of a new year comes the drive to want to do something different and better than the previous year. New changes, new outlooks, and new workout routines are on the top of the ‘to-do’ list for the coming year. From starting CrossFit, to increasing your workout goals, getting in shape is outstanding for your physical and mental health, but as with everything, there is such thing as ‘too much’.
If you’re reading this, you might very well be asking yourself: “How do I get rid of my annoying knee pain?” This is a fairly commonplace question, as for those of us who suffer from knee pain it is usual to scour any source of information in order to find the answers we need just to stop the nagging, debilitating pain. The good news is, you’ve finally come to the right place… you’re not alone and there is help! In this post we look at why knee pain becomes a nagging pain, what the symptoms of knee pain are, and what can be done to alleviate the discomfort. It’s time to take action against knee pain once and for all. So, let’s dive in. [...]
Wrist pain affects everything… writing, cooking, driving, cleaning, washing, and even eating. It’s no wonder, then, that discomfort in your wrist can make you feel frustrated, sick and tired, and generally exasperated at most things in life. In fact, we’ve seen countless patients give up on the things they love most due to daily, nagging wrist pain. This is not a situation we want to see you in. We understand how desperately you need relief, and that’s why this special blog post looks at why some people experience wrist pain, what is really is, and – thankfully – what can be done to relieve you of your daily soreness. We want you to start taking the right actions to get back to the pain-free life you deserve. So, let’s get started. [...]
Back pain is one of the most debilitating injuries out there. We don’t say this lightly. It really is one of the injuries responsible for the most heartbreak and sadness. From shooting pains, to chronic, unrelenting, searing pain, for those of us who suffer from back pain, the reality of dealing with its symptoms can be overwhelming at times. It is easy to lose a lust for life. The good news is that we’re about to tackle two of the most common back injuries: herniated discs and bulging discs. We look at why one may be confronted with these injuries and, better still, what one can do to get back to a normal pain-free life… we know how much this means to you. [....]
The sacroiliac joint, or SI joint as we’re going to call it from now on, is probably not something you’ve considered much, is it? Right now you’re probably thinking, “is it somewhere in my neck, my knee, or my shoulder?” If so, you’re probably also wondering why this fairly obscurely named joint is important enough for a blog post? Well, we’re here to tell all! In this post we’re going to give you the scoop on SI joints, tell you why you should be more aware of them, and what can be done if they’re giving you trouble. Ready? Let’s go! [...]
If you’re reading this and wondering why in the world ‘concussion’ has anything to do with physical therapy, exercise, or health, then we’re glad you’re here. The truth is, this invisible injury could wreak havoc on your wellness and, in some heartbreaking cases, could result in painful, debilitating symptoms…for years! It is not something to take lightly, so we’re here to fill you in on all the particulars of concussion, its signs, and all the actions you can take when it comes to this hidden condition. [...]
Today’s blog is a special entry for all you runners out there. We know you love to run, and we also know you value fitness and health. Running has become, for you, a metaphor for life: determination, mobility, and freedom. And yet, for some of you reading our blog right now, this might not be the case anymore. An injury may have gotten you down: your morning run just isn’t the same anymore, and that nagging feeling in your leg/knee/ankle/calf just doesn’t seem to be going away. Well, if that sounds familiar, we have a serious question for you: why are you running away from your injury? All too many people run away from physical therapy in the hope that the pain will disappear on its own. Some even run through the pain just to avoid being told that they have to take it easy, stop, or rest for a little while. The truth is, running away from the pain honestly doesn’t make it better – you may know this by now. In this post we chat about what it means to have irritating, sometimes frustrating running injuries, and what can be done about them… if you make the right choices for your health!
Golf… it’s a sport that calls to mind beautiful Saturday mornings, a cold beer at the club after a great 18-hole day, and that elusive birdie you’ve been trying to get for years. And while this all sounds pretty much idyllic, you might be surprised to know that playing golf causes nearly as many injuries as some contact sports! It’s true, and while shocking, it actually makes a lot of sense. The techniques players employ in their swings, gaits, and strokes, often have painful consequences for the back and shoulders. In fact, shoulder pain is so common amongst golfers that it has fast become one of the injuries we treat most often. So, in this post we chat to you about what it means to have shoulder pain, how you know it’s golf-related, and what to do if you’re suffering from it right now. With that having been said, let’s tee up and get started! [...]
Who doesn’t love hiking? On the trail we are immersed in the open air, wildlife, beautiful, rugged terrain, fresh water streams, and… ankle injuries? Yes, you heard that right. Hiking often goes hand-in-hand with some fairly severe ankle twists, sprains, and even fractures or breaks! It’s not hard to guess why, mind you, because from loose rocks, to uneven footpaths, hiking poses a big threat when it comes to the wellness of your ankles. Don’t despair though, we’re not asking you to pack away your hiking gear and take to the treadmill instead. Rather, we’re here to chat to you about how ankle injuries during your hike can be prevented, and why being mindful of their probability and severity puts you in good stead to steer clear of them! [...]
Getting injured can really set your exercise and fitness routine back a notch! And worst of all… it can be a total pain in the butt in more ways than one. Can you guess what we mean? If you’re reading this, you may have heard of piriformis syndrome before, or perhaps your just curious – either way, we’re here to tell you what it is, what causes it, and what you can do about it. That way, you’ll know why you’re in pain and you can “butt to the chase”, so to speak! [...]
By now I’m sure you’re well aware of the benefits related to daily cardio, stretching, and resistance activities. Not only does your heart get a massive health-boost, but your entire body feels more supple and strong; your immune system is strengthened and you generally feel better. So, if you know all this, and have most likely experienced the positive effects of a daily workout routine yourself, why is it so hard to stick to a healthy pattern? Why is a daily exercise regime so difficult to maintain? The truth is, the reason we don’t stick to our guns is usually because of a busy work schedule; alternately, it could be because we can’t fit time into a hectic – and often delicate – work/family balance. We understand this predicament, and that’s why we’re offering you some useful tips on how to fit that much-needed exercise into your life, no matter the time constraints or pressures you face. Take a look! [...]
Unless you’re gifted with extraordinary medical abilities, you probably can’t immediately tell the difference between a pulled muscles or something else. Hey, let’s face it, most people aren’t doctors. Not everyone can instinctively tell where their pains are coming from. And, if you’re reading this post, my guess is that you might be one the ones who struggle a little. The good news is, though, it’s absolutely normal not to know the cause of your pain; both people who suffer from sudden, fleeting pain, as well as those who experience ongoing, chronic pain, are often dumbfounded as to its cause. More often than not, though, people jump to the conclusion that they’ve pulled muscles. The effects of this type of ill-informed opinion can be life-changing, and that is why we’re about to expose the hidden answers behind what it means to have a pulled muscles, and whether or not something completely different might be going on.
Ever been in a foreign country and tried to order off of a long, complicated, alien looking menu? Did you use hand signals to describe the dish you wanted? Did you whip out your phone and hope Google has the answers? And, in the end, did you just close your eyes and trust that what landed on your plate was pork, not pizza? Yes, this situation can be frustrating, especially when you don’t end up getting what you want! Well, let me tell you a secret… when you’re in pain, your body is frantically waving hand signals, pointing at pictures, and speaking in a foreign language. Why? Because it needs you to give it what it wants. [...]
Dr. Jack Wong
Leading Physical Therapist In The Kingwood Area
All information on this website is intended for instruction and informational purposes only. The authors are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your injury. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied on this website.